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Owning Woodland

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default Owning Woodland

Post by Zoe on 27th November 2010, 4:44 pm

I suspect this is something that many people on this forum have considered and there are a few of us that do, to various extents.

With the possibility of the Forestry Commission in the UK having to sell large areas of land and the possibility of asset dumping as the economic situation worsens perhaps there will be some opportunities to live this dream.

So what are the stories, pitfalls and questions that should be considered? What has to be done to it? What are the true benefits?

Please contribute questions and answers! treeswing treeswing treeswing

Zoe
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default Owning woodland.

Post by lumberjill on 28th November 2010, 10:32 am

Hello Zoe !
Woodland Ownership in the uk falls roughly into two camps. leisure plots, that are a great joy to the owner, involve lots of hands on stuff and, if one is lucky, fit and clever will provide a household with wood fuel, mushrooms, building materials,and if you have a gun and a pole lathe, meat for the table and furniture. More fun than owning a boat,(imho) and hopefully less expensive.

The other way to go is with a huge wood, Im thinking around 100 acres or more, where the quantities of fuel and timber produced make it worthwhile buying huge plant to cut chop and deliver. this is obviously a full time business but has potential for community ownership, co-ops and shareholding.
Small coppice woods produce more manageable wood than overgrown woods. One could manage an "in cycle"(cut every 9 ish years) coppice wood with hand tools but once a coppice stool has be overgrown for years, it becomes an unweildy group of tall trees that are very hard work to deal with. The true benefits? speaking from experience, my health, vitality, and mental well being have all improved beyond measure, and I have been on a steep learning curve for 2 years now and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Hopefully, when I am too old and decrepit to toddle round the wood anymore I will be able to realize my pension. Problem is I dont think I would want to live without it!

The pitfalls? Very hard to build a dwelling in woods and any wood with a dwelling or foundations fetches premium money. Woods with a Tree preservation order,(TPO) on a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) ect, have extra restrictions on them, and then there are some worrying tree
diseases. otherwise, no more problematic than owning a house.
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Post by Compostwoman on 28th November 2010, 12:00 pm

We have a 3 acre woodland which is part of our 4 acre plot and we use it for fuel, poles, timber, assorted coppice products I gather leafs for composting, harvest nuts, and, of course, I run my courses in it and have play sessions in there.

AND it is a wonderful place to just "be".

I agree lumberjill whith what you said about the mental physical and emotional benefits of being in your own wood. I start to feel very "disconnected" from life if I have not been into mine for a day or two.

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Post by Jaded Green on 28th November 2010, 12:10 pm

I have a yen to own my own wood. I live in London so it would not be close to home.
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Post by Compostwoman on 28th November 2010, 12:20 pm

You could go in with a syndicate JG and get one you could travel to and camp etc?

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default Re: Owning Woodland

Post by Zoe on 28th November 2010, 5:09 pm

Good post lumberJill a+
The subdividing of the 100 acre woods in the UK has its issues hasn’t it? Managing it as a joint group is a good idea so the clearing is cooperative and coordinated but if its all done separately that must be a bit of a problem. Things like gaining access as well as making sure there is still woodland cover and a migration path for flora and fuana.

It does seem that small and smaller areas are being sold (for higher prices).


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Post by Compostwoman on 28th November 2010, 5:22 pm

Personally I would rather see more land planted up as woodland as well, as well as existing woodland being bought by groups and/or individuals.

I also think small sections of a larger woodland going into different people's hands is more likely to protect the whole woodland.

If one person/company etc buys up a large woodland they can clear fell or whatever...if the woodland is subdivided up and owned by different people or groups that is less likely to happen.






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Post by lumberjill on 29th November 2010, 10:26 am

Yes Compostwoman, Planting Woods is a great project, but wooded land is currently less valuable that arable and sonot many landowners are taking that option, Planting is also fraught with wildlife grazing the saplings and killing them. having said that, woodland is increasing in Britain, and may be implemented to a greater degree in future to keep up with the carbon targets.
Subdividing of larger woods is a tricky issue, and Id be interested to heat what others think, (thanks for bringing that up Zoe,) On the one hand, why should the average family not own a plot of land, in other European countries it is a tradition, and nurtures respect for the countryside, and family leisure. On the other hand,according to current thinking, unmanaged or poorly managed woods will become too dark and growth slows down in these circumstances. I do have my suspicions on governmental policy, the Commission have a history of changing tack and planting Larch then Sitka,then deciding that broardleaf is the way to go. Its a very long process is growing trees, and it dosent take 2 minutes to cut one down! I honestly don't think there is a wrong or a right way to go about it, its a matter of looking at the individual Wood, and the trees that have been planted on it, then making an informed decision, based on what is best for the guardians of the wood, and the commercial/amenity/wildlife value.
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Post by Hairyloon on 29th November 2010, 11:03 am

Compostwoman wrote:You could go in with a syndicate JG and get one you could travel to and camp etc?
There are probably not enough people on this forum yet, and we are all too scattered anyway, but we could consider it.
I won't know if I have any spare funds 'till I've been to court next month.
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Post by Compostwoman on 29th November 2010, 11:14 am

Hairyloon wrote:
Compostwoman wrote:You could go in with a syndicate JG and get one you could travel to and camp etc?
There are probably not enough people on this forum yet, and we are all too scattered anyway, but we could consider it.
I won't know if I have any spare funds 'till I've been to court next month.

Good idea HL.


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Post by Compostwoman on 29th November 2010, 11:15 am

Lumberjill,

I think people need to feel engaged with trees and view them as precious and to be guarded...so I agree with your comment about family owned woodland ( well I would!)

We plant trees here and coppice, I have engaged lots of children in tree planting sessions else where (mainly for the Woodland Trust) all over the place and children (and adults) feel very protective towards a tree they planted as it becomes "theirs"

Once people become involved like this, they are less likely to damage or want to see damaged "their" woodland. Something Forest Schools use of local woodland also encourages.

I am not sure I agree 100% with you about poorly managed deciduous woodland though, IMO it is still of better wildlife and amenity value that coniferous ( dark, monoculture) woodland...even an overgrown coppice ( many years overgrown) has more flora and fauna than a Sitka wood IME.


Just out of interest lumberjill, I assume from your comments you own a wood, do you also work in woodland management, as well as managing your own woodland, like me? ..but wondered if you also worked in this area as well.

treeswing

It would be lovely to see you write up a bit about yourself in the members section? Very Happy

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Post by Zoe on 3rd December 2010, 9:52 am

We only have 1 ha of wood but it part of "continous cover" forest (never been ploughed). We are careful to only clear when the other part is standing. Actually we are hoping the steep slope will deter them from felling the huge oaks on the other side. These oaks will have to fall on our land and be retrieved through it but there is no right of access. So if you do buy woodland make sure you do have the access needed for your management plan!

We are planting about 3 ha...thats another story and I'm getting rather cold! I need to ......

Zoe
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